Bloodline Detectives, a new true-crime documentary series, hosted by preeminent legal analyst and renowned former prosecutor Nancy Grace, takes viewers behind the scenes of cold cases as detectives solve years-old murder investigations using two kinds of technology: genetic genealogy and familial searching. Detectives can harness these techniques to pinpoint an unknown criminal’s relatives and then trace their “bloodline” or family tree to reveal the killer, as used in high-profile cases such as The Golden State Killer and The Grim Sleeper. Produced by New York-based film and television studio FilmRise and award-winning LA-based production company Peninsula Television, in partnership with Sky Studios, Season 1 of Bloodline Detectives premieres Saturday, October 3 and runs weekly through Saturday, November 28 (9 episodes) on stations nationwide (check local listings for stations and air times). A schedule of the episodes can be found here. Season 2 (11 episodes) is slated to air in early 2021.
Nancy Grace opens each episode by detailing a highly publicized and violent crime with unknown motives. She then passes the story to the Bloodline Detectives and forensic scientists specially trained in DNA profiling to reveal the identities of notoriously elusive criminals. One of the techniques, genetic genealogy, was the ground-breaking method featured in the recent HBO docu-series I’ll Be Gone In The Dark. Grace closes each episode by leading viewers through the case’s resolution and impact on the criminal justice system.
Integrating key witness testimony with new forensic and psychological expert interviews, plus reconstruction and archival footage, Bloodline Detectives is a study in modern and futuristic crime-solving techniques. The program demonstrates how traditional investigative methods can now be significantly enhanced by the scientific power of forensic science and how DNA profiling technology is changing the world.
Season One Episode Titles and Descriptions:
30-year old Jodine Serrin was murdered in her own bed. Explore Southern California police’s extensive efforts to solve the mystery, and how advances in genetic genealogy finally cracked the case.
Murder in The Snow
Examine the random and brutal killing of Wisconsin’s Traci Hammerberg, including how the perpetrator evaded detection for decades and how the Bloodline Detectives eventually uncovered his identity.
Scottsdale Spree Shooting
Follow the fast-paced police and forensics investigation of an Arizona killing spree that claimed six innocent victims and the familial search technology that solved another case for the Bloodline Detectives.
Ice Cold Murder
Track the tragic and violent death of Pennsylvania teacher Christy Mirack, the dedicated investigation into her murder, and how DNA and the Bloodline Detectives traced her killer and brought him to justice – 27 years later.
Unearth the California murder of Barbara Becker, found by her two young sons, and how police commitment and genetic genealogy eventually led the Bloodline Detectives to resolve the murder case.
Investigate the violent seaside town murder of California resident Karen Klaas and how, after 41 years, cutting-edge Familial DNA search methods led the Bloodline Detectives to solve her murder.
Discover the backstory of Familial DNA searching with the investigation behind a random and cruel killing of a London truck driver, one of the first convictions for the Bloodline Detectives.
Pursue the murder of Melanie Road in Bath, England along with the Bloodline Detectives as they track down her savage killer with the help of Familial DNA search.
Road Trip To Hell
Study the mysterious events leading to the murder of a Vancouver couple who were on a road trip, as well as the determination motivating local law enforcement and the Bloodline Detectives to find their sadistic killer.
The Participants (in alphabetical order)
Dr. Angela Gallop, CBE, Former Scientist, Forensic Science Service (UK)
Dr. Angela Gallop was awarded the honour of Commander of the British Empire by the Queen for her work in the area of forensic science and for helping to solve some of Britain’s most high profile homicide cases.
Brian Burritt, Criminalist, San Diego Police Department
Brian Burritt is the CODIS Manager and Criminalist for the San Diego Police Dept. He created a DNA Typing database called Omnipop and has been intrinsically involved with the solving of the departments violent crimes since 1999.
Dr. Colin Dark, Former Major Crime Specialist, Forensic Science Service (UK)
Dr. Colin Dark was a Major Crime Specialist Advisor for the UK’s Forensic Science Service for over 30 years and has been a Forensic Science Consultant since then. As one of the UK’s top forensic scientists, he has helped solve some of Britain’s most notorious cold cases with the use of DNA technology.
Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick, Forensic Genealogist
Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick is a leading expert in the field of Forensic Genealogy and even coined the term. She has used the method to help solve multiple homicide investigations and set-up a company called Identifinders International to help identify missing people. She is also the co-founder of the DNA Doe Project, which helps identify dead adults.
David Barclay, Former Head of Physical Evidence, National Crime Faculty (UK)
David Barclay was Head of Physical Evidence for the UK’s National Crime Faculty. He provided expertise and operational support in the most complex crimes of violence such as rape series, stranger murders and the murders of children or vulnerable adults. He has been requested to review cases in America, Canada, Holland, Germany, Portugal, South Africa and Australia.
Dr. Margaret Press, Co-Founder, DNA Doe Project
Dr. Margaret Press co-founded the DNA Doe Project to help her identify John and Jane Doe’s using forensic genealogy, giving families answers that they may have waited decades for. She has also played a crucial role in a number of cases that no one thought would every be solved.
Jim Stam, Former Criminalist, San Diego Police Department
Jim Stam was a former supervisor in the San Diego Police Department Crime Lab where he worked for 30 years.